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Blogs

The plays will come for Fitz

Posted by Darren Urban on August 24, 2012 – 9:30 am

We all know what Larry Fitzgerald can do, including Larry Fitzgerald. And it’s preseason. But let’s face it, it was still good to see him get five catches against Tennessee. It was a glimmer of sanity while the offensive questions – like who will play quarterback and who will play tackle – linger.

But Fitz wasn’t worried, so I guess the rest of us shouldn’t.

“I’d rather have catches against Seattle anyway,” Fitzgerald said, noting the regular-season opener. “Those are the ones that count. Obviously I want to have touches but I’m not going to be complaining about preseason touches.”

The quarterback situation will obviously impact Fitzgerald, and his 80 catches last year were well below the normal standard he sets and about 20 less than he wanted. But whatever is going on offensively, including the possibility the Cards run a bit more to help the QB situation, everyone knows Fitz will ultimately be the guy the offense leans upon.

“It’s a long season,” Fitzgerald said. “I’ll be called on to work a lot when the time is right. We don’t gameplan (right now). I just stay on the same side and don’t do anything different. If I was by myself they were going to roll over on me (with a safety). I know Coach Whiz and (offensive coordinator) Mike Miller and (receivers) coach (Frank) Reich, they will find ways to free me up and I’ll make my plays.”


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Posted in Blog | 45 Comments »


45 Responses to “The plays will come for Fitz”

  1. By crisper57 on Aug 24, 2012 | Reply

    Darren:

    The OL looked better after Young came out and we with with the Massie/Batiste combo on the edges. How did those two individuals look to you? Are they improving through the preseason at all? In other words, is there any hope that they can grow into those roles and provide decent protection at all this year?

  2. By Matt E. on Aug 24, 2012 | Reply

    I’m glad that D’Anthony Batiste stood up and protected better than DJ Young, but that Poor Offensive line has really got to step up its game. If they don’t, then defenses will just constantly blitz the Quarterback, knowing that a sack is extremely likely and there’s no way Kolb OR Skelton will ever move the chains. Is there any way that the Cards will look trading picks or players in order to acquire a Safe Left Tackle?

  3. By Darren Urban on Aug 24, 2012 | Reply

    crisper —

    RE: Massie/Batiste

    As I said, I thought they looked better. But it was my eyeball, watching everything at the same time. Is there hope? Sure. Is it a guarantee? No.

  4. By Devon L. on Aug 24, 2012 | Reply

    I know this is obvious. but man watching D.J. Young out there was anger inducing. Really wondering why Russ hasn’t gotten this line shored up after so many years. You could argue it’s the players, but these are players HE liked. HOF rep will only carry you so far.

    Also a side note as I don’t comment very often, but i’m a huge Cards fan and I just want to say thanks Darren and staff for the awesome, quick Blogs and Videos. You guys keep getting better and better.

  5. By Kurt on Aug 24, 2012 | Reply

    Darren:

    Is anybody talking about the possibility of bringing back Brandon Keith? Where is he now?

  6. By john the draft guy on Aug 24, 2012 | Reply

    When asked who is the best Wr to ever play, the name Jerry Rice pops up as number 1. And rightfully so.

    But I think you could make the argument that when Fitz is done, he should be with Jerry as 1a and 1b.

    Think about it, Jerry had Montana and Young and superbowl teams to play with. Bill Walsh and his west coast offense was new and innovative.

    Fitz has played with a real QB for 2 1/2 years. When teams play us, there is one guy they try to stop. But even with guys like Max Hall and Jeff Blake and Josh McCown throwing to him, he has the most catches in the history of the game before 29. He is 2nd to Rice in yards and 3rd in tds.

    How could this be. It is funny that some don’t even give him credit as the best WR now. While Megatron is catching passes from Stafford and Johnson has Schaub, Fitz will squeeze out another 1400 yds and 8 tds, while catching passes by, what could be, 3 QBs by the end of 2012.

    Maybe I am too early to say this, but Fitz will go down as one of the top 2 of all time.

  7. By BIG RED on Aug 24, 2012 | Reply

    Trade bait Beanie Wells with 34 and 33 his good bait for some lineman.

  8. By Austin on Aug 24, 2012 | Reply

    Darren,
    Considering our O-Line woes, do you think that the question of Kolb’s durability will impact the QB decision?

  9. By BIG RED on Aug 24, 2012 | Reply

    Try the Skelton to Skelton connection, there might be something there. Wake up, they know each other.

  10. By Rio on Aug 24, 2012 | Reply

    The OC should have not started the game with a deep throw play, knowing that we had two new tackles. He should have started with a screen play and come back with a draw play and then a three step pass play etc.

    Were they trying to kill Skelton to make him look bad, then when they brought in Kolb they switch Bastista over to replace young.

    Why did they start with a deep pass play.??? What is up with these coaches.

  11. By firewatch1 on Aug 24, 2012 | Reply

    It looked to me like the protection really improved when they started chipping DE’s with the backs more- especially on Massie’s side. I agree that Batiste was a big improvement over Young.

  12. By Darren Urban on Aug 24, 2012 | Reply

    Kurt —

    RE: Keith

    He remains a free agent. I don’t see him returning at this point.

  13. By Darren Urban on Aug 24, 2012 | Reply

    Austin —

    RE: QB durability

    No, because I don’t see the assumption being made Kolb will get hurt again. Besides, Skelton would still be there if Kolb was picked starter and got hurt.

  14. By Rich on Aug 24, 2012 | Reply

    How can Russ Grimm be so wrong about a guy like DJ Young? He’s been around for over a year. How can our coaches have thought that this kid had a chance at all?

  15. By Kevin on Aug 24, 2012 | Reply

    D’Anthony Batiste is a beast he should be able to fill the role. Liked what I saw out of him. I say Kolb should be our starting QB we know Coach Whiz will make the right choice. Skelton should remain back up until Lindsey improves kid looks very good.
    Darren here is my line up for RB Wells,Williams and Powell. Cut Clayton,Smith and James.
    QB’s-Kolb-Skelton and Lindsey- cut Bartel have not seen him play so I have a feeling he is gone.

    But who ever is chosen we need a OFFENSIVE line to work. Is Schofield getting close to coming back?

    Bradley is a playing excellent.
    DB’s Peterson-Gray-Fleming-Sanders watching Peterson get beat last night over and over I see he still needs to improve.

    Safteys of course Wilson and Rhodes

    Brandon Keith is he coming back? we need him.

  16. By joe holst on Aug 24, 2012 | Reply

    did anyone notice how awful Chris Berman called the game..within the first 7 minutes he had Greg toler making the opening tackle on the kickoff, assn’t even active, Michael adams made it, called William Gay on a tackle for the titans, it was michael huff, and called Jamell fleming, ryan mouton from the titans,, what a joke this guy has become. Darren is he gonna broadcast MNF games?

  17. By Ezz on Aug 24, 2012 | Reply

    He wasn’t supposed to be playing yet Rich, it doesn’t mean he’ll never be a competent player or that the coaches were wrong to see potential in him. He’s green and he was obviously nervous, it’s not one preseason quarter of football that should define his career, as bad as the quarter was.

    I would’ve liked to have seen Potter get a look with the first team O-line too, but this late in preseason i guess it’s best to choose someone and get him acclimated with the rest of the guys.

  18. By GMAN on Aug 24, 2012 | Reply

    I wouldn’t mind if Ryan Lindley started.He looks like a winner who will just improve every day.

  19. By Big B on Aug 24, 2012 | Reply

    I agree with Devon L. When does some of the O-Line responsibility fall on the coach? This question has to be addressed. I am guessing in the 2013 draft, We will draft an OT based on need rather than the best player mentality we have used the last few years…..

  20. By Corgon on Aug 24, 2012 | Reply

    A. Smith or W. Powell? Thats a sweet problem. I’d put my money now on WP. He could fill the backup kick returner spot if they decide AJJ will be cut. I really like A.Smith, but at this time i think Powell will be a better solution. The bright side is, both of them could find a job somewhwere else (i think and hope).

    I can just hope that the Defense will be better that this. This is the same as we had last year. Lots of 3andouts, lots of huge stops, but still giving up to many big plays. Also, we don’t really had sacks. I hope it’s just because coach Horton teaching and trying something new now and he don’t want to show his cards in the preseason games. The D has to improvetill the ‘hawks game ‘cuz this not will be enough.

    J. Skelton had only 10 attempts. That was the big starting chance? With Young and without serious running back help….it wasn’t really equal and then i haven’t said anything about the no huddle. I think this competition is over and Kolb won.

    That 2 INT was horrible. in both plays there was a wide open guy for a first down. Huge, terrible mistakes. Really need a top 5 D to keep alive the team for the finish.

    I know we know Fitz, i know we have to protect him from injuries, I know we have other recievers who we want to to know how valuable are, but that hurted the QB’s and this competition thing as well. As he said the only thing what he can do is be there in the right spot and doing his best. But if they not calling plays for his direction, he wasn’t able to help.

    Soooo many things what we have to fix….but A. Wilson still a BEAST :) He was everywhere again. Full respect! Go CARDS!

  21. By john the draft guy on Aug 24, 2012 | Reply

    Darren,

    First, where are these Brandon Keith chants coming from? Really? Also, I am starting to listen to the anti-Grimm movement. I believe there were some very good players picked this year and they aren’t progressing. As I think why I though Massie looked better, it was because of the play before he came in.

    One of the things I noticed and was pointed out was when Skelton was taken out, he seemed to fade off into the sideline.

    Someone pointed out that when the 2 min offense was going, the other QBs were listening to the plays and following along, while Skelton stood off by himself.

    I believe the job is Kolb’s. Not because I want him to have it, it just makes sense to ride the guy you gave the big money to when both guys are equal (and I mean equally bad).

    I know this is out there, but could we see Kolb, Lindley and Bartel as our QBs with Skelton moving on via trade or release? Here is my logic. Kolb starts dure to the investment in him, the young QB, Lindley, moves into two and gets a few more reps during the season and Bartel, who is more of a coach than QB, could be on the sideline as a sounding board for Kolb/Lindley.
    Skelton makes the same mistakes he made as a rookie and may never mature into a starter.

    Darren, Am I that far off base here?

  22. By samir on Aug 24, 2012 | Reply

    are players going to be cut today?

  23. By Darren Urban on Aug 24, 2012 | Reply

    Joe —

    RE: Berman

    I believe that was a one-time deal.

  24. By Ben on Aug 24, 2012 | Reply

    Darren,

    Do you sense a little worry from the team at this point? The message board and fans in general are about to jump off a cliff. Does the team have a sense that the sky is falling or do they just feel like they are holding back because of no gameplanning. It seems that every year we do not gameplan and then wonder why we start so slow and out of sync. Maybe we need to be practicing what we will be doing in the regular season, Because at this point it is just getting ugly, at least from how most fans are viewing it.

  25. By Darren Urban on Aug 24, 2012 | Reply

    John the draft guy —

    RE: Skelton

    I wasn’t watching, but let’s let these guys be human once in a while, whether it’s Kolb or Skelton or whomever. He didn’t play well, he probably knows it wasn’t all his fault and that is frustrating, and he knows there’s a chance he might have lost the starting job. I think letting him be a little upset isn’t a bad thing.

    I will say, once again, I expect both QBs to be here, and I expect the “loser” of the competition to say the right things and be a backup this season without a problem. I think Lindley will be No. 3 this season.

  26. By Darren Urban on Aug 24, 2012 | Reply

    Samir —

    RE: Cuts

    As of right now (1:43 p.m.) I do not know. Whisenhunt will have a presser at 3:30 p.m.

  27. By Darren Urban on Aug 24, 2012 | Reply

    Ben —

    RE: Message boards

    Do I think the team is trying to fix problems? Sure. Of course they are. But unless a team is fantastic, the message boards are always going to have people ready to “jump off a cliff.” Check out boards for teams around the league. It’s what fans do.

  28. By Phil Lewis on Aug 24, 2012 | Reply

    I have seen a lot of comments about Skelton’s lack of opportunity last night. I think people look at the passing stats and come to a snap judgement.

    I am pretty sure both QB’s had the same number of drive opportunities its just that kolb was the only one that led the team down the field via two long drives – 1 a TD the other a FG gaining multiple First Downs.I have to say, I was massively imressed with Kolb’s TD drive. After throwing such an abysmal pick, he went out and nailed a high quality drive with quality throws ending with a great TD pass.

    Shows a strong character under immense pressure for his job and reputation to go and do that.

  29. By Rio on Aug 24, 2012 | Reply

    Trade now, offer 3rd right pick for someone’s back up left tackel , there are some good one’s out there.

    We could throw in autograth picture of Larry Fitzgerald.

  30. By Sir60 on Aug 24, 2012 | Reply

    Corgan

    Except for 2 plays, the first team D played very well. One of those was a pick play, by the Titans, that wasn’t called and the other was perfectly executed by QB and WR. Check the rushing and passing stats. Except for turnovers, the Cardinals dominated.

  31. By cardsalltheway on Aug 24, 2012 | Reply

    Mike Mayock says…,
    Cardinal rule
    “I called John Skelton “Flacco Lite” coming out of college because he really reminded me of the Ravens signal-caller. Now, if you watch tape of Skelton from last season, he didn’t make the right decisions all of the time. But I watched his arm live, and it’s just obvious he can to get the ball into Larry Fitzgerald’s hands down the field more often than Kolb.”

    I agree with Mayock but the reality is our QB situation is predetermined.

  32. By Corgon on Aug 24, 2012 | Reply

    @Sir60

    Yep. As I wrote, the same as last year (that’s pretty impressive), lots of 3andOUTs, lots, of big stops. They played well. But for this offense not good enough.
    Last year every game they were beasts. But in every game they gave up 1-2 big run, 1-2 big pass. At the moment this team need one of the best D fo manage the games.
    Yesterday PP21 was burned 2 times, one for TD. There was that nice designd play as well and despite they let only 27 yards for CJ2000, 16 by that came from two runs, both prepared TDs.
    Now of course they can’t stop all the plays, but that was just 1 half of football.
    All in all, they played well, but the team need more (turnovers fe) because we cant wait that the offense will win games without a super D. They made few mistakes, but those are hurted as pretty much.
    I still hope coach Horton will call destroyer plays in the regular season and he still want to get the opponent’s QB. If yes we has the chance to win football games.
    But as always that’s just my opinion.

  33. By dean bower on Aug 24, 2012 | Reply

    Darren

    Long time, very frusterated, Cardinals fan here!
    This QB competition has been nothing more then a game to please the John Skelton fans. Kolb is the starter and has always been the intended starter. The play calling last night for Skelton was laughable, any one who knows the way Wiz calls plays could see that. Have you ever seen Fitz give Skelton any props for a good play like he does other players, no, but if kolb makes one good play Fitz is there for him. I hope they trade Skelton for his sake, this kid has never been given a REAL chance. As for Whiz he is assembling a very good cast of both offensive and defensive players, unfortunately picking a QB is not his strong suit. Here’s to the best team of players I have ever seen the Cardinals organization assemble. From what I see it’s going to be a long season!

  34. By Eazy E on Aug 25, 2012 | Reply

    Fitz is a good person because the QB situation is a mess with Kolb and even Skelton didn’t play great even though he played better than the numbers at Tennessee. Schefter did give a glimmer of hope saying that the cards haven’t ruled out acquiring a veteran QB via Trade or Free Agency.

  35. By Andy M on Aug 25, 2012 | Reply

    To paraphrase a famous economist: “there are lies and there are statistical lies”. The numbers for Kolb in this last game seem fairly impressive (sans the two picks), but one of the receptions was a caught off the rebound of an ugly throw that never got higher than five feet and hit one of his linemen in the back. It could just as easily been a third interception. Two well-thrown balls by Skelton were dropped and would have given him a much different stat line and extended drives. Further, Skelton received no protection. So, one has to look at tape; which is what the coaching staff is doing.

    The decision of how to deal with the quarterback situation is difficult. Regardless of the choice, half of the fans will disagree. However, it is pretty likely that if results are not achieved by whomever is chosen, Whiz will go to “Plan B” a few games into the season. Moreover, the odds of a quarterback going through an entire season without injury–especially given the porous offensive line of the Cards–remains low. Does anyone believe Kolb can hold up for 16 games? We will see both quarterbacks throughout the season and the controversy will continue.

  36. By Trent on Aug 25, 2012 | Reply

    Darren,

    I think Kolb one the competition for one reason, he got the ball to Fitz. He just seems more likely than Skelton to look Fitz’s way, as any quarterback should. He makes mistakes still, of course, but you can see he has potential to have some Warner-esque rhythmn. A lot of people hold Warner on a pedestal now, but when he was off, man was he off. With him you could almost tell as the game started which Warner showed up. They saw something in Kolb (as the rest of the league did) to give up a lot for him. I think they give him this chance, he continues to look for Fitz and the Cardinals O will be fine. Do you think his completions to Fitz strengthen his bid for starting QB? I know if i was a coach i want the ball in my best players hands, and Kolb seems to get it there better than Skelton.

  37. By Red cards on Aug 25, 2012 | Reply

    last year kolb didn’t throw to fitzgerald a lot Skelton did hmm

  38. By Stephen on Aug 25, 2012 | Reply

    Darren,

    Can we forget about the QB’s for a minute… Neither QB has been stellar, but I think we can all agree, it’s been the O-Line’s fault more often than not. Granted, some of that was on purpose in order to evaluate personnel, and will surely be “covered up” by different alignments in the regular season, but it is still extremely disheartening to see your RG, RT and LT getting blown 5 yards into the backfield on almost every play by a 4 man rush. Snyder has been, quite frankly, horrible and even our normally stalwart Lyle S. has had a few misreads or misplays. Is there any thought at all to trading or signing a FA lineman?

  39. By clssylssy on Aug 25, 2012 | Reply

    I have a nagging suspicion that Coach Whisenhunt made his decision and all the competision talk was just that…talk. The fact Bartel didn’t even play, says he’s gone and the smirk on Kolbs face was unmistakible…like the cat that swallowed the canary or a guy who been told he had the job….too bad. The Cards are going to have to get a whole lot better if they are to stand a chance against the Seahawks or even the Rams. We have some really great young talent on this team and we at least have depth and our defense is coming along…Vonnie Holiday is still hitting hard! I’m really hating to see who gets cut on Monday and then again Friday. I still want a Skelton jersey…I think he will end up having to pull us out of a hole again! Wow…that game sucked!

  40. By Darren Urban on Aug 26, 2012 | Reply

    Stephen —

    RE: OLine

    I’m sure everything is being considered.

  41. By Big Red Fan on Aug 26, 2012 | Reply

    Darren-

    Regarding QB, is it possible that Skelton and Kolb have both LOST the job, and neither have won this battle?

    I know this sounds ridiculous, but I have heard rumors of Colt McCoy to AZ. He has had a stellar preseason, but is there even any remote possibility of this?

    Seems far fetched, but with the inconsistent play we have seen, nothing is that unreasonable . . . .

  42. By Darren Urban on Aug 26, 2012 | Reply

    Big Red —

    RE: QB

    I find it hard to believe the Cards would start a QB against the Seahawks that would have just shown up in the next week or so.

  43. By Big Red Fan on Aug 27, 2012 | Reply

    Darren –

    I figured as much, and am waiting for one of our current guys to wow everyone next week. They both seem to have it in them every other drive. . .

  44. By Walter H Richters on Aug 27, 2012 | Reply

    Darren,

    I’ve listened to all the commentators and armchair QB’s (of which I am one) and I remain a fan. I’ve surly been through worse than this since 1962.

    Three moves I hope to see.
    1. Lindley makes final roster.
    2. LaRon Byrd makes final roster as #3 WR because he has made better plays than our #1 pick. (ok, so Floyd blocks good for Powell.)
    .3. Powell remains, even if we have to get rid of my favorite Hyphen.

    I think we have to finally address the situation with Russ Grimm. Our O-Line is not improving like it should with a Hall of Fame teacher. Bartel is an example of an excellent teacher who is only an adequate player. I fear that Grimm is the other side of that coin. I

  45. By Shoud Be Sports Analyst on Aug 27, 2012 | Reply

    I’ll say this again,
    I’ve Been A Cards fan since lienart was supposed to be our savior. So im relatively new to the arizona wagon and still have much more optimism than most of you here. I Have the cardinals going 8-8 again (or 9-7 because im still deciding if we can beat philedelphia. P.s. they were a superbowl favorite last year too) . With that being said lets give our defense some credit ! We beat New Orleans last year just based on it. Our Defense can force fumbles, return picks and our special teams are electrifying. If we keep Will Powell, we would have a great running game. Kolb can make some throws to fitz and that can move the ball down the field just enough so that our RBs can punch it in for us. Please dont lose hope, The Arizona Cardinals can possibly be a wild card team… Remember what happened last time we were 9-7???

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